HTC Touch Pro2 review: Out with a pro
Another excellent telephony chapter
Making calls is always a priority for any cell phone - that still holds true for smartphones such as the HTC Touch Pro2.
The Phone application offers Smart dialing, so you hardly ever need to go to the Contacts list in order to dial a number.
The built-in accelerometer gives the HTC Touch Pro2 a familiar cool feature: you can mute the ringer by simply turning the phone face down on the table. If you turn the handset back up, the ringing won't resume by itself.
Don’t worry, it's unlikely your calls will get muted accidentally in your pocket - the feature is set up in such a way that it's more likely to not engage at all rather than engage for no particular reason.
One point of note though is that if the Pro2 is already face down when a call comes in, the feature won't be available.
HTC Touch Pro2 is the first handset to feature the new StraightTalk technology that according to the manufacturer should improve the telephony experience greatly. Straight talk consists of a bunch of software and hardware updates that should turn the Touch Pro2 in the ultimate communication tool.
The hardware features include the noise cancelling microphone at the back that reduces the environmental noise during regular calls. This is quite handy when, for example there is much traffic around you or when you are outside on the windy day.
You also have a hardware microphone mute button at the back which might be handy on some occasions. Its functionality is pretty straightforward – it mutes the phone microphone, making the other party unable to hear what is going on around you. A second press on that button reactivates the mic and everything goes back to normal.
The other hip hardware feature is the asymmetric dual loudspeakers that should provide enhanced sound experience. Their location as well as that of the microphone mute button suggest that the phone should be used laid face down on a table when in speakerphone mode so everything is at the tip of your finger.
As far as software update is concerned HTC say that the Touch Pro2 has a new really simple interface but in reality it is hardly too different as far as actual call making is concerned. The only notable difference compared to the Diamond2 is the added conference call shortcut on the call screen which saves you a click when you want to add more parties to a conversation.
The Calls log on Windows Mobile devices offers practically unlimited entries. HTC have pimped the look of the regular WinMo calls log and have added thumb scrolling.
We also conducted our traditional speakerphone test to conclude the phone part of the Touch Pro2 review. You aren't likely to miss many calls with it, as it scored a Very good mark, ranking pretty high on our list of tested devices. You can find more details about our test, as well as the results of all other tested handsets here.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|
|Apple iPhone 3G||66.1||62.1||71.7|
|LG KC910 Renoir||69.7||64.7||70.9||Average|
|Samsung i900 Omnia||70,2||64,8||75,2||Good|
|HTC Touch Pro||74,9||69,7||73,7||Good|
|Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1||75.5||66.6||82.7||Very Good|
|HTC Touch Pro2||74.6||70.0||78.1||Very Good|
|HTC Touch HD||77.7||73.7||76.7||Excellent|
The HTC Touch Pro2 supports SMS, MMS and email. SMS and MMS share an inbox and a message editor and thanks to TouchFLO, you can enjoy thumb scrolling in the inboxes and through longer messages.
The Message tab offers a great interface for managing messages. With the nice interface and touch-optimization it’s highly unlikely you will ever switch back to the standard Windows SMS inbox.
Threaded SMS is also available on the Touch Pro2, just as it is across Windows Mobile 6.1.
The email inbox is also available as a homescreen tab with an eye-catching view. The email editor will hold no surprises for experienced WinMo users as it has not changed at all.
Setting up your email is easy as it is on most of the latest mid or high range phones. You type your email and password and all the other fiddly options are configured automatically.
Perhaps now is a good time to mention input options on the Touch Pro2. Let’s start with the virtual ones.
HTC have equipped the device with a set of home-grown thumbable virtual keyboards. It's a commendable feature since the default Windows Mobile keyboards are fit for stylus use only.
The first keyboard is a regular 9-key multi-tap keypad , the second one is a brand new full QWERTY and the third one is a regular WinMo not-so handy QWERTY optimized for use with a stylus.
The new QWERTY differs from the previous one in the button architecture and a five-row design that gives you all four navigation arrows in the final row. In landscape mode you get the typical three-row full QWERTY with nav-keys on the right.
In applications where screen auto-rotation is enabled, you also get larger landscape versions of those keyboards. The HTC Touch Pro2 can rotate its screen almost anywhere and use the new and improved landscape QWERTY keyboard. It seems that HTC have taken user feedback on board.
Finally we are pretty sure you’ll use these virtual solutions extremely rare because of the hardware full QWERTY keyboard, which is one of the best we have seen in a mobile phone. The keys are big enough, the gaps between them eliminate the chance to hit two letters in the same time and the button’s places are very well situated.